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  • Instant Nirvana at Tam Wua

    Instant Nirvana at Tam Wua

    Tam Wua monastery sits at the end of a narrow valley beneath mountainous limestone karsts in far north-west Thailand, near the Myanmar border between Pai and Mae Hon Song on the long and winding road from Chiang Mai. I stepped into Tam Wua for a mindfulness side-trip while touring the Mae Hon Song loop on a Honda step-through scoot. Apparently, […]

     
     
  • Winton Wetlands

    Winton Wetlands

    At the end of a rock outcrop in the Winton Wetlands an expansive vista suddenly opens up to reveal a grassy plain stretching to the horizon immediately evoking images of Kakadu in the dry season; though, on a much smaller scale and at an entirely different Australian latitude – a Kakadu of the South. Unlike Kakadu there is no indigenous […]

     
     
  • Spinksy’s Top Five Chiang Mai Tips

    Spinksy’s Top Five Chiang Mai Tips

    Chiang Mai, Thailand’s capital city of the North, offers a vast array of options for travellers. Somewhat ironical title aside, here are a few things I discovered during a recent visit, which was mostly spent at the east side of the old city. Haven’t covered tourist attractions (there’s enough info about them) – in my opinion Chiang Mai’s main appeal […]

     
     
  • When Desire Wore Red and White

    When Desire Wore Red and White

    2012 AFL Grand Final, MCG, Hawthorn versus Sydney I’m having a pre-grand final lunch at Southgate with Ralph who carries the stocky appearance of comedian, Max Gillies, and a cheerful cynicism about AFL administration. He grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote when self-preservation meant barracking for Collingwood. We’re usually joined by Phil, another Pie fan, but he’s in […]

     
     
  • Lost In Transaction

    “It was no accident you came to us, Paul,” declared a man sitting among others huddled around a dining room table. “God sent you.” I was caught off-guard for the first time in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and discovering the USA didn’t cater quite like Europe for young people travelling on the cheap. I had arrived in New York from London several […]

     
     
  • Koh Kong is King

    Koh Kong is King

    Koh Kong, tucked away in Cambodia’s south-west corner, is arguably the country’s most pristine province, if not one of the least disturbed natural areas in South East Asia. A region of low population density, undeveloped tropical islands, virgin rainforests and crystal-clear waters, it offers unspoilt exploration. I was there during the wet season, so there was no transport out to […]

     
     
  • Fun at the Phare

    Fun at the Phare

    Phare Circus in Siem Reap is a uniquely Khmer performing troupe giving employment opportunities to disadvantaged youth as well as offering an interesting and entertaining tourist-excursion alternative to the temples and Pub St bars. The parent company, Phare Ponlue Selpak, was formed 20 years ago in Battambung to provide arts education and revitalise the creative industry in Cambodia following the […]

     
     
  • Federation Square

    Melbourne – Penultimate Day in the Third Season

    There’s nothing unusual about the second last day of Spring, except this is Melbourne, supposedly the most livable city in the world. How accurate that title is remains debatable, but there’s no doubting Melbourne is a great metropolis that never ceases to surprise with all the festivals and free events held throughout the year. Every day is amazing. On this […]

     
     
  • Siem Reap to Beng Mealea by Mountain Bike

    Siem Reap to Beng Mealea by Mountain Bike

    On my second trip to Siem Reap I was looking for something different to do. A mountain bike tour to a remote temple filled the bill. Camouflage Adventure Cambodia provided the opportunity. They’re one of the newer operators in Siem Reap, offering a good collection of suitable bikes, and tours at competitive rates. It was the height of the wet […]

     
     
  • Angkor Wat Day Tour

    Angkor Wat Day Tour

    Having been to Angkor Wat three years previously I wanted to try a different approach this time, so decided on a guided day tour with Beyond Unique Escapes, who have a reputation for running good excursions with a community feel aimed at smaller groups. I chose their Angkor Uncovered tour costing $28 per person, including lunch. It was the off-season […]

     
     
 
 
 
September 2017
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